How many species of birds are there in the world? It has generally been considered that there are between 9,000-10,000. This new study upends that, suggesting that the number should be double the earlier estimate. (Here’s the actual paper.)
Well, wow! We have defined species as animals that can breed together. But if you pay any attention to birds, there are some anomalies here. Ducks, for instance, are notorious for breeding across species lines. So maybe the species line needs some re-defition, away from the “biological species concept” towards a “phylogenetic species concept.” That’s what they do in this study, defining species according to genetic and evolutionary relationships. (Here’s some more explanation.)
Tremendous food for thought.
And for dessert: One of my long-time complaints about the Democrats is that they don’t fight. Republicans fight like cornered rats; they have to because they’re a minority-appeal party and so must cheat, lie, steal, etc. to maintain power. Democrats just kiss up to their corporate funders. Enough!